Vail-based ski museum, Denver library work to preserve 10th Mountain history

Entities exchange film stock from acclaimed documentary 'Fire on the Mountain'

Daily staff report

The Colorado Snowsports Museum and the Denver Public Library are working together to preserve "Fire on the Mountain," a documentary about the history of the 10th Mountain Division.

VAIL — The Colorado Snowsports Museum recently joined forces with the Denver Public Library to help preserve a key piece of 10th Mountain Division history by accepting a transfer of film stock from the acclaimed documentary “Fire on the Mountain.”  The donation was courtesy of George and Beth Gage.

The documentary, directed by the Gages, tells the story of America’s only mountain and winter warfare fighting unit, the 10th Mountain Division. In addition, the film chronicles the return of 10th veterans to Riva Ridge in the Italian alps 50 years after their spectacular night climb in which the 10th scored its biggest victory against Hitler’s troops. Alongside once-bitter enemies, the 10th veterans re-climb the ridge in a spirit of peace and cooperation.

The transfer from the library includes 14 boxes of film reels. The reels contain outtakes and all footage used for the film, along with a full box of ledgers. These binders and notebooks contain all of the director’s notes and other archival materials.

“I feel that these have great display value, as they are quite unique and show a more behind the scenes aspect of the 10th Mountain Division,” Museum curator Dana Mathios said.

Beth Gage also provided over a dozen transcripts from 10th veterans who were interviewed for the film. Those interviewed include Earl Clark, Ben Duke, Hugh Evans, Steve Knowlton, Pete Seibert and many others. The collection will ultimately include all photos from the film and any newspaper clippings that were collected.

As only the original film has been digitized, the museum is seeking funding assistance in order to digitize the entire collection.  If you have an interest in helping make this possible, contact Mathios at

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